Gravlax with Mustard Sauce

Gravlax is a traditional Scandinavian dish of dill-cured salmon with mustard sauce. It is quick to prepare but you have to wait two or three days for the fish to cure. You can substitute 3 tablespoons of honey mustard mixed with 1 tablespoon of Dijon for the Swedish mustard. Gin or potato vodka can be used on place of the aquavit.

Serves: 24Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 2 daysDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 24


  • 1 large skinless salmon fillet (4 lbs.), bones removed
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 cups finely chopped dill, divided
  • 1⁄4 cup aquavit
  • 4 Tbsp. sweet Swedish mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 24 thin slices French bread


  • Rinse the fillet under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  • In a medium bowl, mix salt, 1 cup sugar, white pepper, and 1 cup dill. Scatter half of the mixture across the bottom of a casserole dish large enough to hold the fish. Place fillet on top and sprinkle with aquavit or vodka and remaining dill mixture.
  • Cover dish loosely with plastic wrap and place a heavy pan directly on top of fillet to weight it down. Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour for salt and sugar dissolve into the fish. Place the dish (with the heavy pan on the fish) into the refrigerator and chill for at least two days (three if the fillet is more than 1 1⁄2 inches thick), turning the fish and basting with any accumulated juices every 12 hours.
  • One hour before serving, make the sauce: In a mortar and pestle or heavy bowl, muddle the remaining 1 cup of dill with 1 tablespoon of sugar until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk the mustard and vinegar and stir in the dill-sugar mixture. Slowly whisk in the oil until thick and creamy. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Before serving, rinse most of the curing mixture off the fillet (some dill should remain). Drain and rest on a rack on the counter for an hour. Slice paper-thin and serve with bread slices and mustard sauce.